Synthesis and characterization of iron, iron oxide and iron carbide nanostructures

Ron Snovski, Judith Grinblat, Moulay Tahar Sougrati, Jean Claude Jumas, Shlomo Margel

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42 Scopus citations


Magnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4 and γ-Fe 2O3) and iron carbide (Fe3C) nanoparticles of different geometrical shapes: cubes, spheres, rods and plates, have been prepared by thermal decomposition of a mixture containing the metal precursor Fe(CO)5 and the stabilizer polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) at 300 C in a sealed cell under inert atmosphere. The thermal decomposition process was performed for 4 or 24 h at ([PVP]/[Fe(CO)5]) (w/v) ratio of 1:1 or 1:5. Elemental iron nanospheres embedded within a mixture of amorphous and graphitic carbon coating were obtained by hydrogen reduction of the prepared iron oxide and iron carbide nanoparticles at 450 C. The formation of the graphitic carbon phase at such a low temperature is unique and probably obtained by catalysis of the elemental iron nanoparticles. Changing the annealing time period and the ([PVP]/[Fe(CO)5]) ratio allowed control of the composition, size, size distribution, crystallinity, geometrical shape and magnetic properties of the different magnetic nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
StatePublished - 2014


  • Graphitic carbon
  • Iron nanoparticle
  • Iron oxide nanoparticle
  • Magnetic nanoparticle


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